The newest report from Canada’s brand name drug makers on access to new drugs has one key message: compared to other countries, Canada goes slow and low. New drugs are slower to be covered by our provincial drug plans and the numbers of people who get access to new drugs are lower than in other countries.
Amalgamation always seems like a good idea. Greater Victoria has 13 municipalities, 13 councils, oodles of separate fire and police departments and multiple separate teams of garbage-persons, road fixers, parks maintainers and others that you need to keep our cities humming.
A growing number of health professionals, patients, community groups and even politicians are calling for national pharmacare. But many Canadians likely wonder what pharmacare is and whether Canada is ready for it.
Employers in Canada spend an estimated 5 billion dollars a year on drug coverage for their employees. Yet, private plans are notoriously inefficient and they often cover higher priced drugs that are not necessarily better for consumers’ health, explains Alan Cassels.
There is certainly a lot of waste in health systems, but one area that seems to have escaped close scrutiny is the waste in private drug plans in Canada. To put it simply, that waste is gut-churning.
Ontario spends $11-billion per year on prescription drugs. Nearly half of this is spent on medicines used by senior citizens, a group that receives public subsidies for nearly all of their prescription drug costs in Ontario.
Canadians pay among the highest costs per capita among OECD countries for prescription drugs, with one Canadian out of 10 unable to fill their prescriptions because of financial reasons.